Simple send-off for literary giant Louis Cha

Friends and family said their final goodbyes to well-loved Chinese martial arts novelist Louis Cha Leung Yung yesterday in a simple send-off for the literary giant.

Mr Cha , better known by his pen name Jin Yong, died at the age of 94 on Oct 30 at the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital.

From around 8am yesterday, Mr Cha’s family members and close friends, including food critic Chua Lam, former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee Hwa and acclaimed director Ann Hui, started arriving at the Hong Kong Funeral Parlour in North Point for the private service arranged according to Mr Cha’s wishes.

Shortly before 11am, friends, including television host and columnist Benny Li Shun Yan and Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma, were seen leaving the parlour.

Mr Cha’s son, Andrew, followed a while later, carrying his late father’s photo into the hearse, with media representatives following closely and cameras clicking.

The hearse then headed for Lantau island’s Po Lin Monastery, where he was cremated in what local media reported to be a Buddhist ceremony.

On Monday, a stable of veritable who’s who had turned up to pay their last respects to Mr Cha.

Wreaths displayed prominently in the parlour included those from members of the Chinese government, including President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and former premier Wen Jiabao.

There were also wreaths from Hong Kong government officials past and present, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her predecessors, Mr Tung and Donald Tsang.

The late paramount Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping was said to have been one of Mr Cha’s fans.

Mr Cha, who was also a newsman, was born in 1924 in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang and moved to Hong Kong in 1948.

He set up the Hong Kong paper Ming Pao Daily News in 1959.

Together with Axe Brand Universal Oil founder Leung Yun Chee, he also set up Shin Min Daily News, which was began publishing in Singapore on March 18, 1967.

Mr Cha’s first novel, written in 1955, was an instant hit.

Readers were drawn to his books because of the colourful characters and the virtues of courage, integrity and honour highlighted in the stories.

Mr Cha’s first novel, written in 1955, was an instant hit. Readers were drawn to his works because of the colourful characters and the virtues of courage, integrity and honour highlighted in the stories.

The renowned writer penned a total of 15 gongfu fantasies before putting his pen down in 1972 after The Deer And The Cauldron. His most popular trilogy is The Legend Of The Condor Heroes.

The renowned writer penned a total of 15 gongfu fantasies before putting his pen down in 1972 after The Deer And The Cauldron. His most popular trilogy is The Legend Of The Condor Heroes.

Some question the literary value of his novels but they are highly influential in the Chinese-speaking world and extremely popular – more than 300 million copies of his books have been sold globally.

His work has also been adapted into TV series, movies, comics and even video games.

Some 400 people lined up on Monday to pay tribute to Mr Cha at a public condolence point set up outside the Hong Kong Heritage Museum’s Jin Yong Gallery in Sha Tin.

The condolence book is open to the public till the end of this month.

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